Tackling the mobile menace I felt I needed a break, a break from my routine life. I called up a childhood friend who lives in New York City and arranged a weekend trip to her place. However, my plan raised some eyebrows among friends and relatives, who thought that leaving a 2-year-old for two nights alone with her father was not the best idea.
My husband, however, did not object to my wish. He purchased my Amtrak tickets, helped me pack my bag, stood on the railway platform with our toddler, and waved at me for as long as I was visible. Like me, he also believed that a weekend away with an old friend would refresh me.
Since 2015, one my closest friends and I have been enjoying our "Girls' Weekend Out" every year. On that one weekend --Saturday and Sunday-- of the year, we eat, walk, laugh, talk non-stop, sing, dance, shop, pamper ourselves in spas, take photos, try out new eateries and do something that never have never been done before.
On our first girls' weekend out, we bought tickets to the 86th floor open-air observation deck of Empire State Building — we so wanted to catch the spectacular bird's eye view of the cosmopolitan New York City that so many people talk about.
The visit to the Empire State turned to be a one-of-a-kind experience when all of a sudden it began to snow; the 2-hour wait in the long queue became even more worthwhile!
I was one-thousand feet above ground, much closer to the sky when a flurry of snow descended upon me. I looked up at the heavens above and January snowflakes fell on my face.
One may or may not agree with me, but as a stay-at-home mother, I feel that all full-time parents need a break from their everyday life. It is rejuvenating. When you return home from a solo vacation, you feel happier and much better both mentally and physically. It is therapeutic!
I personally believe that raising a child is one of the toughest and most stressful jobs around. A break from the routine life is therefore something that every full-time mother deserves. You do not always have to go out of city or country, even two days spent alone at a friend's or relative's place will re-energise you.
Your child will miss you and that is okay. As long as your children know that you will return to them, they will be fine. My daughter spends a splendid time with her father when I leave them alone for a weekend every year. They play, cook, eat out, read books and go shopping. Over these weekends, their dad-daughter bond grows stronger too.
And I do not believe that I act selfish when I enjoy two days of 'me time' every year. It does not indicate that I do not enjoy spending time with my own family. Rather, it is an indication that my husband and I trust each other and that our relationship is safe and secure.
Spending time away from family gives you the opportunity to look at things objectively, re-discover yourself and re-evaluate your life. It also helps you experience first-hand what life is like without a spouse and child around, and makes you realise how much you can possibly miss them. Sometimes, you just cannot wait to return home!
So, don't feel guilty if you ever feel the need to spend time away from the people you love most. It is okay to feel that way; it is okay to feel that you need a break from your routine life — a real break.
It is also perfectly okay to spend a few days away from your child and life-partner. Time away from family refuels you with new vigour. It also helps the people in your life understand how much your presence means to them.
Photo: LS Archive